Jumping Panda - I can’t speak for my colleagues, but as a review writer I often come across applications or products that fall into a sort of gray area — it might be something with possible but unmet potential or hidden value that’s difficult to gauge. But our job is to state the facts, be as objective as possible, and remind everyone that our opinion is just that – our opinion.
Where Jumping Panda is concerned, I can state for a fact that the name of this game is appropriate and I can state my opinion, which is that panda bears are cute. Beyond this rhetoric, fact versus opinion in the case of Jumping Panda might not be so black and white.
Jumping Panda is a side-scrolling game that features three rows with a panda in each one. Players control all three pandas as they jump over mushroom obstacles. The jumping control of the pandas is simultaneous; meaning that all three pandas will jump at one time when you swipe up on the screen. You can control the position of each panda individually within its row by tapping on a location in the row. Lastly, you can incorporate long jumps for each panda by swiping and then tapping further over in each row. You get points for jumping mushrooms and lose lives for running into one. The object in Jumping Panda is to score as many points as possible before you lose all your panda lives.
I would love to be able to say that Jumping Panda is enhanced by gorgeous colorful graphics or that it was great, addicting fun to play, but neither of those statements would be fact or my opinion. Sure, the pandas are cute, as are the little sound effects of their jumps. And for some it could be mildly entertaining to try to align the pandas for successful mushroom-avoiding, simultaneous jumps, but in my opinion, I got bored with it quickly and found no real thrill in trying to beat my highest score after just a few rounds.
Here are the facts of Jumping Panda. There are two difficulty levels included – easy and hard. For each level you get eight panda lives, which quite frankly seems excessive, but at least is a forgiving feature for younger or less skilled users. You can score bonus points in the form of 2X or 3X if you jump more than one mushroom at a time. The user interface while simple, is absent of any in-game controls like pause or a menu button should you like to start over or reselect your difficulty level after a game has begun.
In my opinion, Jumping Panda is a cute idea, but for a two-dollar game should have a bit more substance to it. For a simple and unadventurous game that is fairly easy to understand and play, it might be better priced at .99. It does have the cuteness factor going for it, but the description provided by the developer states it is similar to Super Mario Bros. and that’s a bit misleading. After all, Mario does more than jump over stuff so there needs to be quite a bit more to Jumping Panda for that comparison to even come close. (Like the pandas shooting bamboo bombs or something.) As it is, I would play Mario a hundred times over by comparison – but again, that’s just my opinion.